Pakistan clamps down on Starlink pre-orders
January 24, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Pakistan is echoing India in its decision to ban Elon Musk’s Starlink from soliciting pre-orders to its broadband-by-satellite system.
Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on January 19th that Starlink had neither applied for, nor obtained, any licence from the PTA to provide Internet services to the country.
“The directions came in the wake of reports that Starlink, through its website, is asking intended subscribers to pay a deposit of $99 (refundable) as pre-order for equipment/services,” PTA said. “PTA has already taken up the matter with Starlink to stop taking pre-order bookings from intended consumers with immediate effect as the Company has not been granted any license for provision of internet services in Pakistan.”
Starlink says it has more than 750,000 pre-orders for its system.
Would-be subscribers in India are now told that Starlink is unavailable pending the issuing of a licence. Starlink has been returning Indian deposits. It is likely that similar advice would be issued to Pakistan-based potential users.